Have you ever known someone who has a counter argument for everything, a road block for every solution you put forth? That's the way I feel about my best friend sometimes. She got me into yoga almost 20 years ago, she's knowledgeable about nutrition, I admire her amazing art projects, and all the many reasons that all these years she remains my bestie, but in the face of crisis it becomes difficult to remember to love unconditionally. It's easy to love the sunshine and good times, but what do we do when the s#^t hits the fan!? How can we hold space for our loved ones when they are not very nice to be around?
I nicked the cover photo for this post from Facebook. I happened to see it while my friend was in the middle of her 5 hour meltdown over losing her phone. When I read the message "How to be happy? Give up 'your' life," I thought it was very apropos in situ, but I knew in my heart that moment was not the right time to read it out to her. If you have a smartphone, then you probably know how much a part of a person that tool can become - it's like a limb, but more, it's like part of the brain, the connection to all our friends, the vessel for our notes and photographs, and "permanent" memories. When she said it was like losing a part of her very soul, she was not at all wrong.
Before you go saying "not to worry, all that is backed up in the cloud," take note that it is not. That idea just spirals the woeful down into deeper mystery about her technological handicaps and all the negative aspects of her life. Funny how tragedy triggers memories of all the bad that has ever happened in our lives isn't it? No, it really isn't. Maybe that isn't the way all people deal, but for those of us with low self esteem and depression, this is how it works - something happens that triggers our self loathing and off we go thinking that we're the worst, and no one could ever love us because of the grandiose mediocrity of our existence. Clearly there is no one more inept or less loveable, less useful, more of a waste of space, etc. than I am at this moment because of this terrible thing that happened. . .
That's not the time I'd want to hear "you can be happy, just let it go," so I waited. Eventually I mentioned that I saw something cool, and I showed her the image. Of course in this case there's no giving up, the life was taken, stolen. How could someone take a person's whole life just like that and not be charged with murder?! Perhaps still too soon I suppose. But, what if she could hear this message, what if we all could? Would you be happy if you could give up your life (not suicide, but giving up control and worry and micromanagement)?
What would it look like to live in the world of emails and smartphones and all the responsibility of daily life and just give up your part in it without guilt?